BROCKWAY - The Elk County Catholic Lady Crusader softball team advanced to the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class A softball tournament with a 6-2 victory over the Sto-Rox Vikings Monday afternoon at the Brockway Area High School field.
The Lady Crusaders will meet District 5 champion Fannett Metal Thursday at a site and time to be announced. Fannett Metal defeated District 7 runner-up Carmichaels 12-1 Monday.
Elk Catholic was able to jump on the Vikings in the first inning with three runs. They added three more in the third inning on a three-run home run by Lyndsey Trumbull to take a 6-0 lead. Sto-Rox came up with one run in the sixth inning and one in the seventh inning, making the final score 6-2.
“We hung in there and battled. We didn’t lose our cool,” said ECCHS coach Joe Coroso.
“Rachel’s (Stauffer) throw to Kristy (Hanes) to end the game was a great play and Kristy holding on was better,” said Coroso. “If you were to tell me before the game that we would have only four hits and make four errors and still win, I guess I would doubt your sanity. Lyndsey (Trumbull) got us the early cushion after we took advantage of two errors and a walk in the first inning and she almost put out another one with her double in the fifth inning near the same spot.”
“We tried to force some things in the last two innings, but otherwise it was a well-played game by our defense,” said Coroso. “Everybody contributed.”
Taylor Schlimm went the distance on the mound for Elk Catholic, giving up 10 hits, walking three and striking out six. Natalia Smarr went the distance for Sto-Rox, giving up four hits, walking three and striking out five.
Getting the four hits for Elk were Lyndsey Trumbull with a home run and a double, and Kristy Hanes and Taylor DaCanal with singles.
Sto-Rox threatened in the top of the first inning as they left the bases loaded after Schlimm struck out the first two batters she faced. In the home half of the inning, Jessie Ginther reached base on an error. Michelle Imbrogno walked. A single by Hanes scored Ginther. Schlimm reached base on an error, allowing Imbrogno to score and sending Schlimm to second and courtesy runner Michaela Cashmer to third. With one out, DaCanal singled, scoring Cashmer as Elk led 3-0.
A double play helped the Lady Crusaders put the Vikings down in order in the second inning. The Lady Crusaders went down in order in the home half of the second.
Sto-Rox went down in order in the top of the third. Hanes walked to start the third inning. Schlimm reached base on a fielder’s choice as Cashmer was safe at second on an error. Trumbull followed with a shot to the 225-foot center field fence, giving Elk the 6-0 lead. Elk left a runner stranded.
The fourth inning found Sto-Rox stranding a runner while Elk went down in order. The fifth inning was a repeat for Sto-Rox, while Elk left Trumbull stranded after a double.
The Vikings scored a run in the top of the sixth on one hit and an error and left the bases loaded, cutting Elk’s lead to 6-1. The Lady Crusaders went down in order in their half of the inning.
The top of the seventh saw Hayley Weisser reach base on an infield single with one out. Natalia Smarra reached base on a fielder’s choice, erasing Weisser at second. Mary Cersosimo and Sam Schmidt reached base on infield hits, with Smarra scoring on Schmidt’s single. Aimee Miller reached base on a infield single which saw the ball reach center field, where Stauffer fielded it and threw a strike to Hanes to get the final out of the contest as Elk Catholic won 6-2.
The Lady Crusaders are now 20-3 on the season.